12 Podcasts To Help You Focus At Work When You're Having One Of *Those* Days

by Syeda Khaula Saad
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Sometimes Friday rolls around and you need a little extra help staying on task at the office. Maybe there are distracting noises or you're just ready for the weekend — and who can blame you? When you think about ways to stay focused at work, a podcast might not be the first solution that comes to mind, but you shouldn't rule it out until you try it.

If you consider the different things people do to concentrate during the day, it all makes a little more sense. Accountemps, a temporary accounting and finance staffing company, conducted a survey of 1,000 people in 2018 to assess music in the workplace. The survey found that 85% of respondents said they listened to music while working. In addition to this, 39% of the total group said that listening to music helped them be much more productive while 32% said that they felt somewhat more productive. And while this only has to do with music, it's not farfetched to assume that certain podcasts can have the same effect on people. I'm not suggesting super thrilling podcasts that'll leave you hanging on every word, but rather, ones to play in the background that'll keep you from getting distracted and motivate you all at once.

Here are 12 podcasts to listen to while you work:


Tiny Desk Concerts

Speaking of music helping you focus, NPR's Tiny Desk Concert is probably one of the best options for "podcasts" to listen to while working. The series features artists singing live, stripped down, and calming versions of their best songs. The artists talk a little about their works and why they chose to perform them and then immediately go into acoustic versions of the songs. Adele, Hozier, Chance the Rapper — you think of your favorite artist and it's more than likely that they've made an appearance on the show.


The White Noise Podcast

If you focus better without someone talking in your ear but still need something to block out your chatty coworkers, The White Noise Podcast is the perfect option. Just as its advertisement suggests, it's just white noise. Each episode is a different type of white noise sound with a different intensity. Some of the sounds are a little odd — garbage trucks and toilets flushing — but you never know what might do the trick and keep you on task.


Modern Love

Modern Love is one of my personal favorite podcasts. But even though it's super interesting, I can put it on in the background while I'm focusing on something else. While romance may not be something that necessarily promotes productivity, a lot of the relationship advice on Modern Love is totally applicable to life in general. With a focus on patience, understanding, and effort, it's a great option to have playing in your ear while you get your work done.



You ever watch a documentary while texting your friends back and still find yourself retaining information about both interactions? Listening to the StartUp podcast while you work gives the same effect. The series is essentially a documentary podcast about how different businesses get started. While it's interesting enough to keep you entertained, it's not demanding to the point where you'll find yourself pausing your work to listen to details. Plus, it's great inspiration for the inner entrepreneur in you!


The Read

Sometimes the best thing to help you focus is a little light-hearted conversation in the background. And The Read is definitely up there for choices. The Read is a podcast that centers around pop culture, hip hop stars, and the drama that encompasses their lives. The hosts are super witty and entertaining, so the show is great to pop on in the background.


Tai Lopez Show

Tai Lopez, a film producer, is famous for reading a new book everyday. And as part of his podcast, the Tai Lopez Show, he summarizes one of these books each episode and then applies its lessons to his own life in a way that listeners can relate to as well. While most of his podcasts cover business topics, there are many that touch upon life, love, and happiness. This is a good choice to play while you work because you'll be motivated to work harder and get to listen in on the quick versions of self-help books.


Affirmation Pod

Affirmations are a good way to block out background noise all while motivating yourself, and Affirmation Pod with Josie Ong is a solid contender. Each episode features a loop of affirmations for different needs — workout inspiration, confidence boosts, or before a big meeting. If you throw on this podcast while you're working on a task, you'll be sure to feel more motivated and confident in your ability to complete it.


The ASMR Podcast

If you want a podcast that'll help you relax without catching too much of your attention, The ASMR Podcast could be the way to go. ASMR can be a great way to help you relax and feel more at ease, and the entire podcast is dedicated to doing just that. With a multitude of series varying from Ariel to Sherlock Holmes, The ASMR Podcast gives you different background noises that are both soothing and non-distracting.


Lead To Win

If you're not much of a morning person, listening to Michael Hyatt's Lead to Win podcast can help you turn your day around before you even start it. Each podcast episode features different tips on solving your problems, increasing productivity, and getting more out of life. In a nutshell, it attempts to help its listeners achieve all they want out of their professional life as well as their personal life.


Accidental Creative

Do you work in a more creative field and you're having trouble balancing being creative and being productive? The Accidental Creative podcast can help you navigate that terrain. It features a multitude of guests from different creative fields who come onto the show to try and help other creatives find ways to be more productive.


Jocko Podcast

Jocko Willink's Jocko Podcast is everything you need to conquer life and take ownership of it. From episodes like "How To Win With People You Don't Like" and "Why Discipline Must Come From Within," the podcast gives you all the tools to be a more confident and successful person.


Defeat The Drama At Work

If you're in a position of leadership at work or just have to work often with teams of other people, Defeat the Drama at Work can be a good resource as well as a fun podcast to listen to while working. Each episode features creative ways to keep yourself as well as others around you motivated to get work done (and done well). You'll have something to listen to while you work, plus you'll get great tips on how to run a tighter ship.